To the Editor-
I am writing in response to the letter submitted by John Binkley last week to clear up a few of the statements made that were very assuming and uninformed.
It is not the job of the county treasurer to do investments and cash forecasting and I would like you to find any county treasurer that does, this is very specialized, also an accountant has been hired for the treasurers office. This person works at the [Portage Co.] Annex closely with finance while in the treasurers offices the treasurer and staff can be contacted by the public.
While the community is praising the expertise of the auditing company of Baker Tilley, if a little background work is done you will find this company has issues of their own, most recently paying a $50 million lawsuit due to a mishandled audit and because the company is international the U.K. reports only 50% of the audits are correct. I do not think I would trust this company to look at my books and procedures.
The ad-hoc preferential treatment given to taxpayers is in fact available to ALL taxpayers in need. This is on the county treasurers website. There have been several cases in Portage County where residents were in dire need of assistance and on the verge of losing their homes, yes there are state programs available to help these people.
Stephanie did assist people to access these programs and set them up on a regular payment plan and yes the county is getting the money. These people are not living in 5 bedroom 4 bath underground sprinkler homes, these are homes usually the elderly and others that have been forgotten. Due to Ms. Stokes being one of the only county treasurers taking the time to use these programs she has been asked to speak at a state cofrence that focuses on state programs and helping the disadvantaged.
As for Ms. Drier and the $200,000 question, that number is highly inflated and Ms. Drier fails to mention the full process of the release of monies. This burden does not lie solely within the treasurers hands, as in any governmental process it has at least two offices to pass through and in this case the other office involved is finance.
So yes it is still a witch hunt.